One of the first features of an object’s countenance that the eye perceives—before its materiality, texture, and sometimes, even its immediate form—is the colour of its skin. Often, our wandering gazes are ensnared by a silhouette’s unabashed vibrance. A volume devoid of any colour in an animated context would perhaps grab our attention in a similar way. With each hue comes a spectrum of emotions that accompany its earthiness, subtlety, boldness, or muted presence—each capable of guiding the mind’s eye. Ergo, the colour wheel becomes a ceaseless playground for artists and designers to impress and manoeuvre, morphing into a space to explore unfathomable possibilities of mix-and-match, and subsequently, countless interpretations of objects dressed in those palettes. Colour is an inseverable part of the processes of art and design, but what if it essays its very core?
Raw Color, a multidisciplinary design studio based in the Netherlands, operates and evolves with colour research at its crux. Helmed by designer duo Daniera ter Haar and Christoph Brach, the Eindhoven-based team works across design fields to materialise colour, through amalgamations of graphic design, photography, and product designs—releasing self-initiated and commissioned projects. Owing to their widely acknowledged position at the forefront of colour research, the Dutch designers were awarded the Limburg Design Award 2023. In celebration of their victory, Raw Color presents a retrospection of their 15-year-long creative journey at the Cuypershuis in Roermond. The solo exhibition dubbed Multiply houses a curated selection of interdisciplinary projects and research, and will be on view from April 15 - September 17, 2023. “Intuition plays an important role in our work. We combine it with logical systems that enable us to translate intuition into concrete results,” the founders of Raw Color relay.
The Limburg Design Award is presented every two years to acclaimed contemporary designers and studios that work nationally and internationally. The award puts the spotlight on contemporary interior design and traces the designs of Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers. Therefore, the origin and the foundation of the prize is 'Design in the footsteps of Pierre Cuypers.' Since its inception, the award has recognised seminal creative professionals such as Ted Noten, Jurgen Bey, Studio Müller van Tol, Studio Inamatt, Atelier van Lieshout, Sabine Marcelis and Formafantasma. The latest iteration of the Limburg Design Award shed light on the sharp vision, eye for proportion, harmony, and craftsmanship that Raw Color’s products perpetually embody.
In Multiply, Raw Color invites viewers to embark on a sojourn into 15 years of their research on colour and design. Objects and outcomes juxtapose in a spatial colour experience that defines the exhibition space. The name Multiply represents the overlapping and mixing of colours and speaks of the extensive colour research that is central to the studio’s oeuvre. The design exhibition also showcases an overview of the final products—furniture design, textile design, lighting design and myriad other objects—alongside Raw Color’s working process, for the first time in the Netherlands. The solo show provides a glimpse into the product designers’ course of materialisation of colour—a protagonist in their unique creative approach.
“We work closely with local producers and brands. These journeys can be found within the archive shelves, which show samples, inspiration, and the process of our projects. We present a considerate selection of projects that radiate the bold spectrum of Raw Color,” the designers comment. Within the animated space of the museum, Raw Colour contrives an invasion of pigments and saturation—an ambience surprisingly pleasant on the eyes. While their simple products express a quirkiness through their unabashed colour palette, the vibrant textiles light up the backdrop and complement their comrades; each installation reaffirms the studio’s fluency in the semantics of colour. Pushing colour into a definition, the Dutch designer duo craft products that epitomise graphic expression in ways rarely seen before. Multiply captivates through a space narrating a clean and simple aesthetic that emanates from Raw Color’s work, all unified by a plethora of colours—and some more.
‘Multiply’ will be on view from April 15 - September 17, 2023, at Cuypershuis in Roermond, the Netherlands.